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A visit to Hammond Stadium


I was fortunate enough to get away to enjoy some heat and green grass in the Sunshine State a couple weeks ago.
Of course, if you're visiting Florida at that time of year, it only makes sense to make sure you take in a little baseball and/or golf. However, golf didn't even make it to the stove this year, let alone be put on the back burner. But that's just fine. I'll gladly exchange a day with the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers for a day on the golf course.
And that's just what we (wife, Donna, and children, Tim and Mindy) got - thankfully!
We had been watching the forecast for our Twins games at North Port, the Atlanta Braves' new spring training home, and in Fort Myers, when the Twins played the Phillies. It was appearing that there would be no problem getting in the Twins/Braves game in North Port, but the Twins/Phillies game in Fort Myers? Rain chances that day were 80% to 100% and not just for an hour or two, but all day long.
Sure enough, when we woke Wednesday morning in Punta Gordo, 25 minutes from Fort Myers, it was raining.
But the rain subsided as we got on the road and the forecast was showing a five-hour window of partly cloudy skies between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., to get the game in.
When we got to Fort Myers, it looked as though it hadn't even rained. In fact, the sun came out and the temperature and humidity climbed into the upper 80s. Yes, it was downright hot.
It was a fun game and we saw it all, albeit a Twins loss.
But once we got out of the ball park and were 20 minutes down the road back to our home base for the week in Orlando, it started pouring. It continued to rain all the way back to Orlando.
So, how was it that we didn't have a drop of rain in Fort Myers?
A big thank you to the Man Upstairs. I had been texting with my good friend Pastor Dewey Moede about the Twins and that we were going to see them on Tuesday and Wednesday. I told him that the prospects for a game on Wednesday, however, didn't look good.
Dewey said, "I'll start praying for you!"
I often wonder if God really cares about whether or not something as trivial as a spring training game gets rained out. But I know the power of prayer and there's no one I'd rather have praying with me than Dewey. I sometimes think Dewey's got a direct hotline to God.
I'm quite certain this instance confirmed it.
Thanks, Dewey, and thanks, Twins, for a great day at the ballpark!
Love the Twins hospitality
The Twins brought Minnesota Nice to Fort Myers.
Everywhere you went at Hammond Stadium, people were smiling, welcoming and more than a couple dozen times I heard, "Enjoy the ballgame!"
I really like the whole spring training experience in Fort Myers. From the game, to the souvenir shops, to the food, to the atmosphere, the Twins and the people in Fort Myers do it up right.
Our family had a great day at the game and we look forward to going back in future years.
The Braves' new spring training home is nice, but they couldn't compete with the friendliness at Hammond Stadium.
What I did like in North Port were the large 3-D numbers of Braves players who have had their numbers retired. They were in a V on the plaza sidewalks outside the stadium. Fans could have their photo taking leaning on the number of their favorite Braves legend.
I wouldn't mind seeing the Twins do the same thing with their retired numbers: 3, 7, 10, 14, 34, 28, 29 and 42.
That would be pretty cool!




 

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